President Barack Obama said Tuesday that he plans to create the world’s largest marine reserve in the Pacific Ocean to protect it from drilling, overfishing and other actions that could threaten marine life.
Obama announced a series of executive actions in a video message to participants of the Our Ocean conference in Washington, D.C., hosted by the State Department and Secretary of State John Kerry.
“We’ve already shown that when we work together, we can protect our oceans for future generations. So let’s redouble our efforts,” the president said.
The plan would expand the Pacific Islands Marine National Monument — which former President George W. Bush established in 2009 at 87,000 square miles — to protect the area from overfishing and the effects of climate change. The reserve would include mostly uninhabited, U.S.-controlled islands and atolls between Hawaii and American Samoa.